Last night I got together with koriandrkitten and watched The Return of Captain Invincible. It's been quite some time since I've watched watched it, and I remember why now.
You should care about The Return of Captain Invincible because it's sort-of-kind-of a Richard O'Brien musical. The "sort-of-kind-of" proviso works its way in there because O'Brien only wrote three songs out of like, ten. I didn't realize his contribution was so small until last night, which is kind of funny because I had just cited those three as my favorites before his songwriting credit flashed on the screen. Oh, well. It's still Richard O'Brien, and the songs are good.
The other reason you should care about The Return of Captain Invincible is that it stars Alan Arkin and Christopher Lee, and they both sing. Mr. Arkin is a surprisingly good singer, and probably could have had a successful music career. Lee is a classically trained vocalist who has the same problem I do: whether through misuse or narrow training our voices are better suited to choral music by long-dead Germans and Italians than anything else. Christopher Lee singing rock music is almost as bad as me singing synthpop.
Back to The Return of Captain Invincible: The plot, essentially, is that Captain Invincible (Arkin) was the All-American Hero back in the day, but he disappeared after being accused as a Commie Pinko. Now it's 1983 and his arch-enemy, Mr. Midnight (guess who) has returned and plans to racially "purify" the human race. The government locates invincible, but he's become an alcoholic and has forgotten how to use his powers.
With this premise, the movie could have been very funny and entertaining, and though it does have some very good moments, it's painfully uneven. The whole thing feels as if the writers were terribly amused by their own senses of humor, and didn't bother asking anyone else for input before handing the script off to director Phillipe Mora who didn't bother to read it before he started filming. But Mora's direction is passable. The problems with the movie are definitely in the source material.
It's a movie I'd only suggest to people looking (specifically) for "fun and bad", but the soundtrack is fairly good, especially the parts by Richard O'Brien, which is why I'm writing this entry. Waaaay back when, I made a soundtrack for the movie by ripping audio from the DVD, which has a terrible sound mix. I tried to clean up the songs, but ultimately I gave up. I did hold on to the songs though, and am happy to present Mr. O'Brien's contribution as my gift to those who actually read through this entry. Here's the link. Follow it -- don't right click. It will be up for seven days. You'll be able to download a zip file which contains the three songs. They're not terribly remarkable, but Rocky Horror fans might like 'em and will wish, as I do, that better copies were available.
Anyway, watching the movie reminded me of how much I like the songs, specifically one of the O'Brien songs which Christopher Lee sings. I also spent a substantial portion of this evening arranging and recording my own version so uh, you know, check it out: Name Your Poison. (MP3, 4.81mb).
I should probably point out before you listen to it that I do not support white supremacy in any of its forms, nor do I support the despicable practice of alcohol consumption. Actually, scratch the alcohol thing -- I don't want to cheapen the statement that I don't support white supremacy.